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Old 07-13-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Vashon , Washington
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Switching all over to 120v electrical

Hi Everybody,
We are making the old abused Sovereign we just bought into a stationary cabin in the woods. No more travelling days for her. We are in the process of transforming the insides and now is the time to replace/remove the faulty 12v electrical system and we think we want to go all 120v. We gutted the bathroom so we at this point we have access to almost everything that was hidden under the tub: a weird arrangement of a battery charger, univolt system and jumper cables the previous owner cobbled together. Has anybody else tried to go all 120 volt AC? Any pitfalls or advice appreciated on this topic.
The only things I think we would want to keep from the 12v system is the ceiling vent fans and rangetop vent fan.(those are 12v, aren't they?) I have not checked the air conditioner, is that 120v? Is there anything else important that runs on 12v?
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:01 AM   #2
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1972 27' Overlander
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EVERYTHING in your trailer is powered by 12V- all the original lights (interior and exterior), the water pump, the fridge (unless it is a newer 3-way model), the guages/lights on the control panel, the fans. The only things that use 110V are the electrical outlets, the AC, and the univolt/converter. The converter, conveniently, converts 110V down to 12V, to run all the above mentioned handy fixtures. To replace all the wiring and fixtures so that everything runs directly off 110V would be quite a laborious and expensive task, and as long as your 12V circuits are intact and functioning, much cheaper and easier to simply replace the old univolt with a new "Intellipower" or similar converter. Good luck with your new cabin!
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:14 PM   #3
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If you're really in the woods and off the grid,maybe you might want to rethink the elimination of your 12v.Solar power and batteries are nice and quiet.The ac is 120v so a generator is needed. The stove or grill is propane.The idea of a permanent spot is nice too.I'd just hate to think of you without an optional power source.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:12 PM   #4
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Oops- meant to say that your fridge likely runs on 110 (and propane), and probably not on 12 volt, unless it is a newer 3-way model. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:29 PM   #5
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1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
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I think it will make an ideal year around cabin.
However;
All your lights, furnace, water pump and fans run on 12VDC.

In addition almost all RV refrigerators, air conditioners and hot water heaters have
12VDC control boards.

Some of the newer converters do not need a battery so you could install a new converter to run the 12VDC stuff and not have to rewire. However; the new 3 stage chargers will not boil the battery and a decent battery would last for many years giving you lights & stuff in case of power failure. I think something like a Power Dynamics PD9245 or something similar would work fine with or without a battery.

Can you convert everything to 120VAC, sure you can but it will require attention to the above details.

You also have the propane problem but that can be solved by having large tank installed or else you will need to replace the stove, HW heater with a mobile home (small size) electric type, don't use the furnace and replace the AC with a window unit that has a reverse cycle heater installed you can also use electric heaters in the winter.

If you plan to use it in the winter think about fixing the water system so you can winterize in 15 minuets or less to winterize.

Garry
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:48 PM   #6
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Another thing I thought about when going all electric is the 30 amp limit in your current set up.
If you go all electric you may want to have a new circuit breaker box installed and balance the load for a 220VAC set up.

As it is right now when you have the power pole installed be sure the electrician understands you need a 120VAC 30 amp "RV" connection other wise they will put in 220 and you will fry everything.

Garry
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:57 AM   #7
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Thanks to everybody who responded. We have some electricians doing the work. It is all being converted to 110v/220v and they are doing a wonderful job. All new appliances and a tankless water heater to really save space. Electric in-floor heat so no furnace. Hoping for a gorgeous getaway home when this is done.
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